A few reviews are coming in on my book. I find them to be so-so. A nice tone, and the a retreat into either a stereotyping of the diet as "low fat" or lacking in complex starches. Another point sometimes raised is that it attempts to mimic the ancestral diet, whereas what I say again and again is that it is a model for making your own choices, not a plan that must be followed.
What seems to have happened is that the Paleo community has grown and splintered into a large number of sub-groups, which is to be expected and is a healthy development. There is no guru or head nutritionist and it is a spontaneously organized community full of diverse individuals broadly following a somewhat diffuse model.
Is my diet low in fat? I have no real idea how much fat I consume, nor does anyone really have an accurate idea. Nor is there any evidence that there is an optimal level. So, this is a distinction without a difference.
I have posted that there is no evidence from large meta-studies that link saturated fat intake with mortality. So, anyone who asserts I fear fat is wrong. However, modern meat is taken from obese animals on the order of 33% body fat whereas wild animals have about 4%. So, even eating lean cuts of meat (and saving money) will supply all the fat anyone needs. I eat so much meat, that I go for the cheaper, leaner cuts.
Modern meats do have oxidized fats and AGEs, formed by feeding the cattle corn and other grains. This produces high levels of hydrogen, which the cattle sequester in their fat. This is where other toxins and excess antibiotics are stored as well. Going leaner, and trimming the oxidized outer fat a bit helps to reduce this load of AGEs and oxidized fats.
More importantly, eating leaner meats, with my abundant intake of ribs and fatty fish, gives me all the fats I need without engorging me with excess energy. So, in the end, this is a strategy for keeping energy intake from going out of hand. Easy to do in this modern world. When energy stacks up in the mitochondria they emit free radicals in abundance. It is simply hard to be active enough and still live in this world and earn a living to offload the energy intake you get from eating as much meat as I do unless you go for leaner cuts.
So, by eating leaner meats I can eat a lot of it and still stay lean. I think this is not understood by those who call my diet low fat---it is high meat and the lean cuts let me do that without excess energy intake while still getting all the fat I need. People are thinking proportions when they should be looking at total intake, a big failing of the macronutrient models of nutrition.
Now what about roots and tubers? They are always a poverty food, even for our ancestors. They are extremely difficult to capture and an inferior source of nutrtion and energy from an energy efficiency point of view. There is evidence of shore-based tuber extraction as early as 1.5 million years ago in Olivai Gorge. But, nothing like this would have occured during the depths of the Ice Age when the modern human emerged. And, in terms of optimal foraging, this would have been a marginal source and only for fresh water shore-based populations.
But, a more modern take on tubers is that they are high in proteins that plants use to protect themselves from bacteria, fungii, worms and other pests. Being soil-bound they must rely on chemical defenses. Consider lectins: they disarm the immune system in strange ways. They alter the markers on molecules and cells that the immune system uses to identify self- and non-self proteins. A most clever evolutionary defense that can disrupt immune system signalling.
Suppose you were to eat more tubers AND more fat. Now you are mixing the two things that send your insulin soaring in large bursts.
I suspect that some who read the book are not seeing the completely modern material I develop in support of the more general model of metabolism I work out in the book. It is more a high-tech Paleo model, not a model that seeks to closely mimic the ancestral diet. Be sure to read the Endnotes for a sketch of this model and the research that supports it.
The mitochondria in our cells do not belong to us; they have their own DNA. Yet, they are the fundamental instrument of apoptosis, the cell suicide program. The book is really about keeping these energy-producing protobacteria happy and healthy.